Few sports can be as instrumental in child development as the game of tennis. From fine motor coordination to cardiovascular fitness, tennis helps develop a slew of characteristics.
But kids’ tennis is different from the adult sport and finding the right tennis racquet is one of its most puzzling aspects.
Why Can’t Kids Just Use Adult Tennis Racquets?
There was a time when kids didn’t get any special treatment in the game of tennis. Kids would have to practice and play on the same courts that adult tennis players used. And they would not have the option of using special gear, such as custom tennis balls and racquets.
Fortunately, things haven’t stayed this way for long. Today, kids tennis is a sport in itself. And there’s no shortage of custom gear available for children of all ages, including tennis racquets for kids. The reasoning is simple: kids are smaller than adults and their gear must account for this.
Benefits of Picking a Tennis Racquet for Kids
It pays to ensure that your child gets to practice and play with a tennis racquet for kids:
- Less injuries Using the gear that doesn’t fit is perhaps the easiest way to end up with injuries in virtually any sport. And kids tennis doesn’t make for an exception. In fact, kids are even more susceptible to certain types of injuries than adults, since their skeleton hasn’t fully developed.
- More comfort The feeling of psychological comfort is essential to being productive in training and performing well on the court. And being able to practice and play with the gear that fits is an important part of it. This holds true for almost every kind of sport, including kids tennis.
- Better results Both motor development and skill acquisition happen much faster if the gear matches the child’s unique anthropometric characteristics. This in turn yields better results during training and performance, helping your child make better progress in tennis.
- Higher consistency Seeing how your efforts bring about successful results is one of the most effective motivating factors. As your child becomes better at tennis a lot faster with the right gear, his or her motivation will rise. This will help solidify your child’s interest in the sport.
Clearly, there’s a lot to gain from simply picking the right tennis racquet for your kid but doing so can be a balancing act.
Tennis Racquet for Kids: Finding the Perfect Length
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has a set of guidelines based on the age of your child:
- Up to 8 years old Tennis racquets of up to 23 inches in length are the best fit for this age.
Along with using the red felt or foam ball, a 36′ x 18′ court, and a 2′ 9” high net.
- 9 to 10 years old Kids of this age do well with the tennis racquets ranging between 23 and 25 inches in length. They can also play with the orange ball, on 60′ x 21′ singles and 60′ x 27′ doubles. And with the net height of 3′ center and 3′ 6” at net posts.
- 11 years old and up Tennis racquets that range between 25 and 27 inches are a good match for this age. Besides this, kids in this age group can use the green ball. And play on 78′ x 27′ singles and 78′ x 36′ doubles. Utilizing the net height of 3′ center and 3′ 6” at net posts too.
The tennis racquet length is not the only factor worth considering, though. Grip size matters too.
Kids Tennis Racquet: Selecting the Best Grip Size
Grip size refers to the circumference of the racquet’s handle. Nearly all tennis racquets for junior tennis players come with the grip size of 4 inches. And this standard grip size works well for most kids.
If in doubt, though, it’s best to err on the side of a smaller grip size. Downsizing the grip size can be a challenge. Building it up, however, is as easy as applying grip tape on the racquet. The best strategy is to try several racquets to pick the one with the most comfortable grip for your kid.
Get Picky About Tennis Racquets for Your Kid
Having a good feel of the racquet is one way to nail it on the court. We hope our guide will help you find the racquet that will let your kid enjoy just that.